PICS: Ajax’s teens show their winning talent


At the weekend, the Cape side’s juniors were crowned champions of the Esad Osmanovski Memorial Cup in the Netherlands.

This success came days after they had won the NextGen Series competition. In the Esad final, Ajax defeated Brazilian side Atlético Paranaense 6-4 in a penalty shoot-out.

Last week, in the NextGen, they beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the final.

In Sunday’s final against the Brazilians, it was again Jody February who demonstrated his shot-stopping prowess in goal.

Last December, it was the lad from Strandfontein’s penalty shoot-out saves that inspired the SA under-23 squad to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

In the Esad final, he stopped four penalties in the shoot-out.The verdict is unanimous this is a really special crop of youngsters emerging from the Ajax youth academy who, over the next few years, are expected to become household names.

In addition to February, Darren Johnson, Sergio Kammies and Masilake Phohlongo are already in the Ajax PSL squad.

“To win two international tournaments in Europe in eight days is a fantastic achievement,” said Ajax chief executive Ari Efstathiou.

“All 18 players were fabulous and we will definitely have a headache deciding who will be offered professional contracts.

The Ajax academy has again produced stars for the future. We are very proud of them.

Cape Argus

Original source: PICS: Ajax's teens show their winning talent